Central Vista
Central Vista
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Supreme Court hears pleas filed against the Central Vista redevelopment project [LIVE UPDATES]

The matter is being heard by a Bench headed by Justice AM Khanwilkar.

Bar & Bench

Matter to be posted after two weeks... (for the) week commencing from August 17

Supreme Court: We don't know if physical hearings will commence then.

Orders: A response to be filed by the Union of India to the writ being filed by Mr Divan. We permit a week to Mr Divan to file the petition and a week to centre to reply within a week of receiving the plea from Mr Divan.

Orders: We have heard preliminary objections by Senior Adv Divan. Mr Divan submits that applicants will file substantive writ petition challenging June 17 Environmental clearence while maintaing the preliminary objections already raised. Respondents have no objection to this.

Supreme Court permits Senior Adv Divan to file a writ petition under Article 32 here in Supreme Court challenging the EC within a week and centre to also file a reply to the petition.

Divan: Let this plea be without prejudice to the contentions open in NGT

SG: Petitioners need to note that we are not dealing with private industry. This project deals with national interest. There a verdicts which state that issues of public law like here cannot be raised by public-spirited individuals. Intention here looks like the project be delayed

Supreme Court allows Shyam Divan to file an appeal in NGT.

Court: We will first decide land-use issue here in Supreme Court and after that if the question on Environmental clearence remains then NGT can look into. If land use itself is not permitted then EC is not permitted

Divan: For anything that should be challenged before the NGT should be heard only by the NGT. This court under Article 142 cannot enter this domain. This is substantiated by the Constitution bench verdict.

Divan: I am not at the moment assailing EC. I will do that In the tribunal. The Environment Appraisal Committee (EAC) has committed illegality

Court: Is your challenge only on procedural grounds? The impression you are creating is not correct. Will your arguments be different in NGT?

Divan: I will challenge full EC in a complete way. No piecemeal challenge.

Divan: The process of grant of EC suffers from several illegalities as there is non-application of mind on part of the EAC and that mandatory legal process was subverted in the case. After June 19 order, the applicant was debarred from its legal remedies

Divan: A piecemeal approach was adopted where the parliament was categorized into a D2 project which had a area of over 20,000 sq ft. The entire central vista needed to be registered as a township project having an area of 1 lakh sq ft and EC accordingly should be granted.

Divan: It was stated that the Central Vista project will make a positive contribution to social infrastructure. ... (continues reading the environmental clearance order).

Divan now highlights the notice inviting bids for consultancy.

Divan: The project has to go through every level of scrutiny that a citizen can invoke. The clearence granted was for the construction of new and renovation of the existing parliament building.

Divan: NGT clearly says that there has been an assessment of cumulative impact. This project will have an impact on citizen as whole.. Environmental Impact Assessmwnt has to be conducted on whole the project.

Divan: The law as laid down by NGT is when we are dealing with EC, then we look at cumulative impact..

SG: Under Article 145 why are you going on merit?

Divan: I am not under Article 145...

SG: Under recall application why are you going on merits?

Hearings to continue after counsel requests.

Divan: It is a very detailed statutory clearence which has been granted. There are a lot of infirmities in this and we want to place this before the tribunal to show all of this in detail.

Divan: if we peruse the National Green Tribunal Act...

SC: Let us continue after lunch

SG: Mr Divan's application has no argumentative merit.

SG: There is no We vs They here. Our parliament is being constructed. In future also defense and finance ministry buildings will be constructed... private individuals are now before as public spirited individuals before you

Hegde: The scope of this proceeding needs to be solely on the parliament building

Supreme Court: We will only confine ourselves to the issues before us right now

SG: I would opposing Mr Divan's plea under Article 145 of the Constitution

Senior Adv Hegde: What all will happen during the development project is not before Supreme Court. At each stage there needs to be fresh applications

Senior Adv Sanjay Hegde: These clearences were obtained for parliament building which is only a part of the Central Vista project. There can be no change in land use here.

Supreme Court: We will make it clear to Mr Divan that we will not hear technical issues

Adv Suri: This helps them avoid rigor of environmental impact assessment

Adv Shikhil Suri: Supreme Court is hearing our petition, and along with that I have filed two other pleas. One of the main grounds challenging EC is that clearence is only for parliament building but the project is the entire central vista.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta: Which order are you attacking?

Divan: I am attacking the environmental clearance granted on June 17

Justice Khanwilkar: While the case is pending here, you can file your appeal. There are two petitions which raise environmental issues. If your plea deals with same issues then you will be governed by the same.

Divan: Now, my client says that we have a statutory remedy against it. This is a large project which require a number of clearances. So there are multiple causes of action.

Hearing begins. Senior Adv Shyam Divan begins his submission for an intervening application.

Divan: This case is primarily against the change in land use. There was an environmental clearence granted on June 17 about the project.

Project proposes a new modern Parliament House that can accommodate 1,224 members of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha — in case of a joint session. Besides, there will be 10 administrative buildings for all ministries

According to an affidavit submitted by the CPWD, which is attached to the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, there is a shortfall of about 0.38 million square metres in office space and as a result, the government spends around Rs 1,000 crore every year as office rent

The petitons have raised questions over the grant of a no-objection certificate by the Central Vista Committee (CVC) and also the environmental clearances for the construction of a new Parliament House

A Justice AM Khanwilkar led bench is hearing pleas filed by Rajeev Suri and Lt Col (retd) Anuj Srivastava against the Central Vista redevelopment project

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